The Future of Sex Therapy: Specialization or Marginalization?

Binik, Yitzchak M.; Meana, Marta
December 2009
Archives of Sexual Behavior;Dec2009, Vol. 38 Issue 6, p1016
Academic Journal
Sex therapy’s claims to specialization may be exaggerated and ultimately damaging to the integrated treatment of sexual dysfunction. In fact, sex therapy does not have a unified underlying theory, a unique set of practices, or an empirically demonstrated efficacious treatment outcome. Paradoxically, the practice of sex therapy has gained widespread professional and popular acceptance since the publication in 1970 of Human Sexual Inadequacy by Masters and Johnson. Consequences of the widespread acceptance of this supposed specialization include the marginalization of sex therapy from other forms of treatment and the perpetuation of the notion that sex therapy is a special form of therapy requiring highly specialized training. This specialization focus also helps to perpetuate societal discomfort with sexuality. The very modest empirical success of most so-called sex therapy interventions and the lack of theoretical development suggest that sex therapy needs a recalibration in order to survive. It is suggested that the treatment of sexual dysfunction be integrated into the general psychotherapy enterprise and into a multidisciplinary biopsychosocial framework.


Related Articles

  • Misconstruing Sex Therapy’s Dilemmas: The Need for Sexualwissenschaft, Sex Education, and Primary Prevention. Tiefer, Leonore // Archives of Sexual Behavior;Dec2009, Vol. 38 Issue 6, p1046 

    The article presents the author's opinion on the difficulties faced by sex therapies and sex therapists. The author opines that the problems faced by therapists are not due to lack of biological depth or sophistication and cannot be pinned on isolation from professional or academic psychology....

  • I am Not a Sex Therapist! Levine, Stephen B. // Archives of Sexual Behavior;Dec2009, Vol. 38 Issue 6, p1033 

    The article presents the author's opinion on sex therapies and therapists. The author considers that sex therapy is an early form of an innovative attempt to help sexually dysfunctional heterosexual couples and regards the original concept of sex therapy to be far closer to a historical footnote...

  • Sexual Surrogacy Revisited.  // Contemporary Sexuality;Feb2013, Vol. 47 Issue 1, preceding p3 

    The article discusses sexuality education and therapies as of February 2013, with a focus on sexual surrogacy and Surrogate Partner Therapy (SPT) as treatments for psychosexual disorders. Topics include the portrayal of sexual surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene in the film "The Sessions," the...

  • Sex Therapy Surrogate Partners for Individuals with Very Limited Functional Ability Following Traumatic Brain Injury. Aloni, R.; Keren, O.; Katz, S. // Sexuality & Disability;Sep2007, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p125 

    The use of surrogate sex therapists for survivors after Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) who have Very Limited Functional Ability (VLFA) is discussed. It includes the rationale of using surrogate therapy with this population as well as some of the professional and ethical issues that such therapy...

  • Sex Therapy Is Relational: Keep the Baby, Change the Bathwater. Parkin, Fran // Transactional Analysis Journal;Apr2009, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p84 

    Sex therapy has often been characterized as a set of specialized skills revolving around an understanding of dysfunction and specific techniques that hold the key to change. While not discounting the importance of specific knowledge and understanding, this article contends that those factors...

  • The treatment of sexually dysfunctional men without partners: a controlled study of three behavioural group approaches. Stravynski, Ariel; Gaudette, Giles; Lesage, Alain; Arbel, Nira; Petit, Pascale; Clerc, Doris; Fabian, José; Lamontagne, Yves; Langlois, Robert; Lipp, Olivier; Sidoun, Paul; Stravynski, A; Gaudette, G; Lesage, A; Arbel, N; Petit, P; Clerc, D; Fabian, J; Lamontagne, Y; Langlois, R // British Journal of Psychiatry;Apr97, Vol. 170, p338 

    Background: Models of sex therapy for sexual dysfunction in single men are available, but their value is not well established. This controlled study compared three approaches to the treatment of sexually dysfunctional single men.Method: Sixty-nine single men diagnosed...

  • From the Executive Director's Desk . . .  // Contemporary Sexuality;Jul2004, Vol. 38 Issue 7, p2 

    In this issue of the "Contemporary Sexuality" newsletter, American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) President Barnaby Barratt lays out some interesting initiatives for AASECT for the next two years. Meanwhile, the conference planning committee has chosen the theme...

  • From the Executive Director. Gilmore, Stephanie // Contemporary Sexuality;Jul2007, Vol. 41 Issue 7, p2 

    The article provides information for members of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). AASECT-certified sex therapy supervisors should contact or notify Tayloe Moore through electronic mail (e-mail) or letter of the name of the new supervisee as they start...

  • The Therapy of Sexual Dysfunction. Frank, O. S. // British Journal of Psychiatry;Jan82, Vol. 140, p78 

    The author discusses several methods of treating sexual dysfunction. The author says that sexual dysfunction can not be treated in isolation and that the individual must be seen as a whole within his or her relationships. Some behavioral therapies are the sensate focus or pleasuring technique...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics